Our dream kitchen looks something like this: an open floor plan, an expansive kitchen island, and sprawling countertops, all decked out in HGTV’s most on-trend colors. But our reality is more like a cramped galley-style kitchen and pared-down, one-wall layouts.
We understand the struggle of a small kitchen. But we firmly believe in working with what we’ve got, which is why we’re voting the rolling kitchen island the most functional piece of kitchen furniture you can find. (You heard it here first!) This one caster-clad piece allows you to carve out extra counter space, extra workspace, and extra storage space.
With all that functionality, the rolling kitchen island definitely pulls its weight, and it can pull that weight right out of the way. This functional furniture can be tucked into a corner or wheeled into another room when not in use, making it perfect for tight spaces.
To help you find the perfect rolling kitchen island for your space, we’ve rounded up our five favorite styles. We’re taking a look at where each of these kitchen carts shine. Plus, we’re pitting rolling kitchen islands against stationary kitchen islands so you can find the option that’s right for you.
5 favorite options for a rolling kitchen island
These rolling kitchen carts fit a variety of home styles and kitchen storage needs. We’ve chosen options with a small footprint that can squeeze into extra-small spaces, plus roomier pieces that provide maximum storage space.
1. 2-Door Kitchen Cart in Merlot and White
This kitchen island cart will blend beautifully with your French Country home decor. The white storage cabinets and dark wood top are a perfect match in a kitchen with white cabinets or an elegant contrast in a kitchen with dark cabinets.
The drawer, two cabinets, and storage shelf provide plenty of options for organizing your silverware, fine china, or stainless steel cookware. And with an attached towel bar, a fold-out cutting board, and a built-in veggie bin, this cart makes an excellent workstation.
If your current countertops are covered in appliances, you can make this cart your designated prep space. Or you can pull it out for family gatherings where you have one too many cooks in the kitchen — it’s the perfect place for your sous chef to chop fruits and veggies. When you add this cart to your kitchen, you’ll be adding a touch of practical elegance.
2. 2-Shelf Kitchen Cart in Natural Brown and White
This practical, little kitchen trolley is ideal for small kitchens. It tucks neatly against the end of your kitchen counter or along the side of your dining room hutch. The white metal frame and butcher block top offer timeless style. The two metal baskets give you space to store fruits, veggies, and snacks. The countertop is larger enough for a microwave oven, and the shelving underneath allows you to store dinnerware, glasses, or dry goods.
If you don’t have enough counter space for all your appliances, turn this utility cart into a microwave stand. Store all your frequently microwavable items, like instant oatmeal and popcorn, on the shelves below. Or forgo the microwave cart in favor of a breakfast bar, and use the baskets for fresh fruit and the shelves for cereal. Soon, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
3. 3-Door Kitchen Cart With Casters in Natural Brown and White
The Shaker-style cabinet doors and round silver hardware on this portable kitchen island are a perfect match for modern farmhouse home decor. The cabinets are made from solid wood and topped with a rubberwood top butcher block to create a heavy-duty island that can keep up with your kitchen experiments.
This piece has so much sneaky storage space you can organize your whole kitchen in one place. The cabinets hide a slide-out tray for a hidden trash can, and the end features a push-to-open door with a hidden spice rack behind it. Hang your kitchen towels from the towel rack, store your utensils in the drawers, and consider this cart your best kitchen helper.
4. Glass Shelf Serving Cart With Casters in Chrome
This modern serving cart can do double duty as a rolling kitchen island and a bar cart. With its chrome finish, it would look right at home in a professional kitchen. The tempered glass shelving features an elegant marble pattern that gives a wink and a nod to your kitchen’s marble countertops.
This cart features a wine rack with space for 24 bottles, and stemware racks where you can hang your wine glasses or martini glasses. The lightweight design makes it easy to roll this serving cart from room to room, so you can prep snacks and drinks in the kitchen and roll them out to the living room or dining room.
5. Kitchen Cart With Granite Top in Black
This granite top kitchen cart is all grown up. The black cabinets make a dramatic statement, and the four-bottle wine rack and four stemware racks allow you to show off your favorite bottles and finest glassware. Use the open shelf to display a decanter, cookbooks, or servingware while the cabinet and drawers hide your less elegant items.
This rolling kitchen island gives you both form and function. In addition to all the storage space, there’s an attached spice rack and towel rack so you can spice things up and clean up after. Plus, the granite top is the perfect workstation. This surface is ideal for food prep and serving, and it’s sure to impress your guests.
Rolling kitchen islands vs. stationary kitchen islands
When your kitchen doesn’t have a built-in island and you’re considering adding one with a piece of furniture, rolling kitchen islands aren’t the only option. Yes, wheels are an added convenience, but stationary kitchen islands — like the Slater 2-Drawer Kitchen Island With Drop Leaves — also have their benefits.
If you have a small kitchen and will need to move your kitchen island often to make room, then you should choose a rolling kitchen island over a stationary one. Similarly, if you have your heart set on an island but you don’t have a dedicated space for it, a rolling island will be a better option. Also, if you plan to use your island as a serving cart or breakfast bar, a rolling kitchen cart will allow you to easily move food and drinks out to the dining room or living room.
However, if you have a dedicated spot for your kitchen island, then you may not need a rolling cart. Opting for a stationary island will give you a more stable surface for food prep.
Pro tip: If you plan to food prep on a rolling kitchen island, make sure you choose a model with locking casters so your cart doesn’t slide away while you’re slicing veggies.
A stationary island is also a better choice if you plan to store multiple heavy items, like your expansive library of cookbooks and your collection of stainless steel and cast iron cookware. If you load up a rolling kitchen cart with too many heavy items, you’ll weigh it down and make it hard to push from room to room.
Keep the good times rolling
Just because your home didn’t come with a built-in kitchen island doesn’t mean you have to settle for subpar storage options. Adding a stationary or rolling kitchen island creates lots of space to store your dinnerware, silverware, or pots and pans — not to mention cookbooks, wine bottles, spices, trash cans, and kitchen towels.
When you choose a rolling cart, you’ll get added flexibility. Roll your island to the living room to use as a bar cart while you’re entertaining. Cart it into the dining room each morning to serve breakfast. Or simply roll it out to make room for a few extra cooks in the kitchen.
But before you break out that credit card and buy your new piece of furniture, think about how you’ll use your island and how it will blend with your home decor. That way, you can find a kitchen island that fits your needs and your style.
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